SEM And PPC Advertising News & Updates: February 2021

February 2021 SEM and PPC News and Updates

Updates include: Google Ads Lead Form Extensions, Microsoft Advertising (Bing Ads) Enhanced Manual Bidding (eCPC) and Facebook Ad Topic Exclusion Controls.

Google Ads (AdWords)

Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) now the default ad type in Search campaigns

On 18th February 2021 Google announced:

Using machine learning, responsive search ads automatically identify the best combination of headlines and descriptions to deliver the right ad to the right person. In fact, we’ve seen advertisers that add responsive search ads in their ad groups achieve up to 10% more clicks and conversions.

This is another shift towards automated PPC management and performance. When comparing the two types of ads, we’ve seen ETAs perform with better Click-Thru-Rates (CTRs) however RSAs do appear for more searches and leverage more clicks, which we know are KPIs to measure for RSAs. Although the move towards automation may make some PPC professionals a little apprehensive, there are some features that RSAs offer over ETAs:

  • Ad strength
  • Location insertion and countdown ad customisers can be used
  • Work well with Smart Bidding and broad keywords (according to Google)
  • Cross-campaign asset reporting – on the Assets page you can check the headlines and descriptions from all your RSA ads in one place.

ETAs can still be created, with no set date on their expiration as of yet.

» Read more here.

responsive search ads rsa default ad type

Responsive Search Ads are now the default ad type

google ads youtube display attribution reports

YouTube and Display ads now both added to Google Ads attribution reports

New Google Ads YouTube and Display campaign attribution reports now available in beta

Attribution reports allow advertisers to find out more about the true impact of their PPC campaigns, and work out what role they play in the customer life cycle – from awareness, to new customer acquisition, through to retention. YouTube and Display ad attribution performance reporting is now available in Google Ads. Advertisers will be able to view:

  • Performance overview
  • Top paths for conversion
  • Path metrics
  • Assisted conversions
  • Attribution model comparison

Attribution reports for YouTube and Display ads are now in beta. Eligible advertisers will need to opt-in by heading to the Measurement –> Attribution section of the Google Ads user interface.

» Read more here.

Google Ads (Google AdWords) Lead Forms

Update to Google Ads extensions: encourage leads with lead forms over landing pages

Advertisers can now show a lead form when searchers tap the headlines of their ads as opposed to sending them directly to a landing page on-site. This update should help some advertisers to generate more leads. It would benefit businesses that offer urgent services, or those that rely mainly on phone call enquiries such as taxi businesses, emergency plumbing etc.

» Read more here.

lead form extension beta google ads

Google Ads (AdWords) Match Type Updates

Broad match modifier (BMM) keywords will be removed in favour of  phrase match

With Google now focusing on the intent behind search queries, changes have been made to their supported keyword match types.

We have reported on this latest update in more detail here.

Microsoft Advertising (Bing Ads) eCPC Bidding

Microsoft Advertising (Bing Ads) now offering automated enhanced manual CPC bidding (eCPC)

Starting this spring, all manual bidding strategies in Microsoft Advertising will be automatically optimised by Enhanced CPC (eCPC) bidding. This bidding strategy update will affect all Search, Shopping and Dynamic Ads campaigns not yet opted into Automated Bidding.

>> Read more here.

Facebook and Instagram Ads Topic Exclusion Controls

Topic exclusion controls for advertisers is now in beta testing

Facebook has just started testing “advertiser topic exclusion controls” with selected advertisers. This update will help advertisers opt-out of appearing alongside sensitive content such as news stories relating to crime and tragedy, and other less than ‘on brand’ topics, in the news feed.

» Read more here.

Amazon Advertising New Video Creative Builder

New video creative builder now available with Amazon DSP

Amazon has released a new video creation tool to help advertisers create compelling and eye-catching video ads, without the need for existing video creative assets. This tool is free for all advertisers to use, and previous design expertise is not required.

» Read more here.

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